The Beehave


Designer – Studio Marlene Huissoud

Maker – Benchmark Furniture

Client – Science Museum London as part of ‘Legacy’ for LDF 2019

Wood supplier – Morgan Timber

Species – American red oak

Sir Ian Blatchford commissioned Marlène Huissoud to create a beehive to feature in a new permanent gallery at the Science Museum focused on the future of agriculture. Whilst doing research, Ian came across a study focused on the habits of bees and the reason behind their decline in population. Marlène’s artistic outlook is rooted in the natural world. She also the daughter of a beekeeper. Rather than a traditional, house-like beehive, Marlène created something more organic. The log-like hive is a refuge for wild bees rather than place to make honey. The piece was hand carved and the red oak was then blackened using a scorching technique. It took 100 hours to add the tactile engraving details to the surface using a pyrograph. It was then covered with propolis, a dark resinous material produced by bees, to seal the gaps. This protects the timber and the bees from disease and also attracts bees with its scent.